ALEXANDER KUZMIN KICKS OFF 2011 WITH WPT SOUTHERN POKER CHAMPIONSHIP WIN
ALEXANDER KUZMIN KICKS OFF 2011 WITH WPT® SOUTHERN POKER CHAMPIONSHIP WIN
Allen Carter Comes Up Shy in Bid for Second Southern Poker Championship
Biloxi, MS (Friday, January 28, 2011) – Alexander Kuzmin solidified his place in poker history early Friday morning when he captured the WPT Southern Poker Championship title at Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, MGM Resorts International’s property in Biloxi, Mississippi. Kuzmin, from Moscow, Russia, topped a tough final table that included a former WPT champion, a WSOP bracelet winner and an Aussie Millions second runner-up to capture the World Poker Tour’s first title of 2011. In winning the WPT Southern Poker Championship, he earned $601,469 and 1,200 Player of the Year points. Kuzmin’s victory came at the expense of Allen Carter, who lost his bid to become the first person ever to win the same WPT event twice.
Kuzmin entered the final table as chip leader only to lose it within five hands to Carter. Soon after, two-time WSOP bracelet winner Ryan Hughes was knocked out in 6th. Carter dominated the table most of the night and seemed destined to become the first person ever to capture the same WPT title twice. That is until he let the lead slip away when he doubled up Leif Force. Unable to regain momentum, he eventually exited in third place after his J9 was called by Kuzmin with AQ. By the time heads-up play arrived, Kuzmin was the favorite with 4,310,000 chips to Force’s 2,160,000. Force, who won his buy-in to this event in a $500 satellite, made a valiant try but couldn’t overtake Kuzmin. Eventually, Force was eliminated when he called Kuzmin’s K4 with only J9 and the board fell Q5432.
“Alex played terrifically,” said WPT commentator and Poker Hall of Fame member Mike Sexton. “He came in as chip leader, lost a lot of chips and went into lockdown mode. He was able to change gears and played superbly once we got down to three-handed poker. He deserved to win.”
Kuzmin stopped into Beau Rivage during a layover on his way back to Russia and ended up a WPT Champion. In exchange for delaying his departure, he picked up the WPT title, major prize money, and 1,200 Player of the Year points. Leaping into the POY race, Kuzmin now stands tied for 5th. Andy Frankenberger maintains the lead with 2,100 points though Kia Mohajeri is close behind with 1,700. Full POY standings can be found at http://www.worldpokertour.com/StatsAndTools/WPT_Season_IX_POY.aspx
The Southern Poker Championship field of 214 was larger than last year and featured a mix of young up-and-coming stars such as Andrew “LuckyChewy” Lichtenberger, Matt Affleck and Jason Mercier and veterans such as Scotty Nguyen, Gavin Smith, Chad Brown, former Southern Poker Champion Hoyt Corkins, Lee Markholt and Dwyte Pilgrim.
Photos of the 2011 WPT Southern Poker Championship and other Season IX events are available for press download: http://www.worldpokertour.com/WPT_Media_Room/Media_Room.aspx
WPT Season IX premieres February 13 at 8pm and 11pm on FSN. Watch a preview clip at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sjk10PcwGvo
Final Table Standings:
1. Alexander Kuzmin, $601,469
2. Leif Force, $315,790
3. Allen Carter, $218,471
4. Shannon Shorr, $144,985
5. Patrick Mahoney, $113,208
6. Ryan Hughes, $89,375
Player of the Year Standings:
1. Andy Frankenberger – 2,100
2. Kia Mohajeri – 1,700
3. Antonio Esfandiari – 1,400
4. Dwyte Pilgrim – 1,250
5. Alexander Kuzmin – 1,200
5. Andrew Robl – 1,200
5. Ilan Boujenah – 1,200
5. Jeff Forrest – 1,200
5. Moritz Kranich – 1,200
5. Randal Flowers – 1,200
5. Sam El Sayed – 1,200
5. Theo Jorgensen – 1,200
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ABOUT BEAU RIVAGE
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, named one of the top 100 hotels in the continental United States and Canada by Travel + Leisure, is located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The resort features 1,740 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites, 10 restaurants, four nightclubs and bars, a 1,550-seat theatre, an upscale shopping promenade, a world-class spa & salon and Fallen Oak, a Tom Fazio-designed championship golf course. Beau Rivage is a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International, one of the world's leading global hospitality companies. For more information or to make reservations, call (888) 56-ROOMS or visit www.beaurivage.com.